Pond Mountain Natural Area
Fuller Mountain Road, Kent, Litchfield County, Connecticut
nearly 800 acres
Sources: Cooley #38
From Route 7 in Kent; drive on Route 341 west (across the Housatonic River and past the Kent School). Continue 1.6 miles and turn right on Macedonia Brook Road. Continue for just under one mile and take a right turn onto Fuller Mountain Road. At the top of the hill (about one mile away), turn right into the grassy parking area.
Its southern boundary is shared with St. Johns Ledges.
Land donated by Myra H. Hopson of Kent. The land is administered by the Pond Mountain Trust along with The Nature Conservancy.
Grassy Glades and Balds: ~Rocky Summits/Outcrops - dry to xeric exposed summits, ledges, and other outcrops with low shrubs, grasses, and herbs. Includes acidic (gneiss, schist, granite), subacidic (basalt, diabase, calcareous schists) and pH neutral (marble, dolerite) rocky summits/outcrops. Examples: Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) - Poverty grass (Danthonia spicata) medium-tall grasslands Little bluestem / Sand cherry (Prunus pumila var. cuneata) community Example Pond Mountain Natural Area, Kent (Pond Mountain Trust) Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uvi-ursi) - Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) dwarf shrublands. Example – Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) - Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) medium-tall grasslands
(Source: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection: Connecticut's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy: Species and Habitat Lists http://dep.state.ct.us/burnatr/wildlife/geninfo/fedaid/cwcs/sphblist.asp?Group=Habitats)
Its trail system is tied with the Appalachian Trail (AT).
There is a circular walk around the spring-fed Fuller Pond. Or one can walk from the parking lot at St. John’s ledges up to Caleb’s Peak (elevation 1,332 feet with westerly views of the Catskill Mountain) and then northwest to the northeastern side of the circular walk around Fuller Pond and then to the parking lot on Fuller Mountain Road.
Pond Mountain in Kent, CT is a unique spot nestled in some hills between the Skiff Mt. area and Macedonia State Park. Though not as well known as nearby Macedonia State Park and certainly not as large, Pond Mountain offers a great place to relax and soak up the serenity you're sure to find there. If you're looking for that "get away from it all" place, Pond Mountain definitely falls under that category. Here you will find a large pond nestled in deep forest growth; a place where Thoreau would have absolutely loved. It's a bit out of the way and not well know expect to local people who enjoy hiking but worth the side trip to check it out.
The trail system is straight forward. Park in the grass lot and follow the trail into the woods. Shortly thereafter, you'll reach the pond which the trail loops around. (Where the trail initially meets the pond loop there is a side trail a few yards back from where you came. Mountain Trail" goes up to the top of the mountain with some really great views west taking in the peaks of the hills/mountains of Macedonia State Park.) Hiking into the woods and coming upon the waters of Pound Mountain is a pleasant experience. You're first instinct would be to find a nice spot along the shore and watch this peaceful world unfold. Ducks, birds, turtles, frogs, fish, and an assortment of interesting insects are only apparent to the watchful eye. If you're into capturing the beauty of nature on film or canvas, bring your telephoto lens or painting materials because Pond Mountain might set the scene for some of the best work you'll ever produce. The water is crystal clear and the way the pond sits within its environment provides the perfect lighting conditions and provides a great spot for certain migratory birds or water fowl that you don't normally see.
If things have been going a little rough for you lately and you just want a quiet place to think, away from people, come here. Or just grab your favorite book or some lunch and relax for an hour. The hiking here is really basic and aside from a short hill you have to ascend and descend the trail is flat and easy on the feet (unless you attempt Mountain Trail which is a short, steep hike for the average day hiker that eventually leads to a really nice overview of the mountains that make up Macedonia State Park and beyond...definitely worth hike if you're not tired). The trailhead at the parking lot has a small sign explaining the various uses of Pond Mountain and asks that you respect the tranquility and cleanliness of the setting. Sign the visitors log book and jot down your thoughts. You can also read the log before heading in to see if anyone as posted something interesting to check out that you wouldn't think to look for.
Difficulty: Easy or Moderate
Main Attractions: Beautiful pond setting, peace and quiet, dense forest growth, trail loop surrounding pond.
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